Welcome. Hope each of you is doing well.
Like last month, this month is on the light side. I’m still fighting illness (50% good days / 50% bad days), with the last seven days being especially taxing. With this in mind, I know a lot of you like my ‘HoMM3 Recollections’, but I was unable to finish my entry for this month. I finished an initial draft, but simply ran out of time and energy. It will return next month. As for the remainder, I have four topics, followed by the fourth set of questions in the interview conducted by Andrew Gasz of HoMM Hungary (Webpage & Facebook).
As always, ‘thank you’ to everyone who wrote, especially those with positive sentiments. If you have any questions or comments, regarding Fanstratics (FST) or Heroes of Might and Magic 3 (HoMM3), feel free to send them along, and I’ll try to answer them in future newsletters (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please keep in mind, it may take at least 1 month before I reply (it’s taking longer-and-longer as production continues).
Until next time.
Fanstratics Game Director & Designer
Fanstratics Troop: Ramfolk Headhunter.
Within the Stoutblud faction, the Ramfolk Headhunters are treasured allies, routinely admired for their melee ferocity. Content to occupy the front lines, they can deliver a destructive short warhammer strike, often accompanied by a devastating ‘headbutt’. Enemies enduring such an Assault, may stunned for a few turns, or concussed for the remainder of Battlefield Combat.
When Justin and I started work on the Headhunter, he initially delivered... a really angry goat. In response, I told him I wanted a ‘ram’ not a ‘goat’... Thor not Wolverine. Specifically, I was looking for a battlefield ‘bruiser’, and with his next rough, he delivered something more traditional and definitely in the right direction. When he got around to rendering the actual Headhunter on stream, it really came together. At this stage in the development of the Troop rosters, I’d dare say the Ramfolk Headhunter is my new favorite.
Fanstratics Question: In all HoMM games, cities do not respond to the type of terrain they are located on. That is, if a town whose native landscape is grass is located on a different landscape, for example, on snow or in a dungeon, then it will still be displayed as located on grass in the town menu and during a town attack. The exception is homm4, where the background pattern changed depending on the landscape. Can FST have multiple town variations for different landscapes in the town menu, or will there be a strict binding like in HoMM3?
More than likely, the binding will be strict, and the reasoning for this is budgetary. To make a city conform to each terrain type would require making at least eight iterations of the same Faction City. If FST is blessed with a big budget, we can examine the possibility of multiple city/terrain iterations, but then we must consider the memory hit, and I want to try and keep the system requirements reasonable.
Fanstratics Question: How extensive will FST's campaign be, if one is planned? And will it manage to avoid some of the weird balance issues HoMMV had where if you don’t build your hero a very specific way, you may not be able to progress (Looking at you Mission 4.3)?
At the moment, the plan is to have two campaigns (Good and Evil), each with a story transpiring over 8 maps (16 total). Events of the ‘Resurgence War’, are covered in the Good Campaign. Events preceding the ‘Resurgence War’, are covered in the Evil Campaign (basically a prequel).
Campaign Hero Carry Over
Hero ‘carry over’ is undecided. If it is implemented, we’ll make sure not to stick the player in a corner.
HoMM3 Question: It's a widespread idea among fans that the 9 cities of HoMM 3 (counting Conflux) represent 9 alignments of Classical D&D. There's some discussion about which is which, but the general layout looks like...
Lawful Neutral Chaotic
Good Castle Tower Rampart
Neutral Fortress Conflux Stronghold
Evil Necropolis Dungeon Inferno
Are there any grounds for this structure, in your opinion, or is this pure speculation? If you were asked to define the alignment for each city, would you do it this way or somehow differently?
I’m well aware of the D&D Alignment system and like it. At its core, it’s a collection of opposites (Good/Evil and Lawful/Chaotic) with a middle ground (Neutral). At its most basic, it’s an expansion of ‘too hot, too cold, and just right’.
Did I use the D&D Alignment system as a structure when creating the HoMM3 factions? Not necessarily. Truthfully, I was thinking more about conceptual ‘opposites’. This would be more accurate...
Castle >< Inferno
Tower >< Dungeon
Rampart >< Necropolis
Fortress >< Stronghold
With the above in mind, you can fit the HoMM3 factions into to a D&D grid, but honestly... you can do this with most things. As for your layout, the Good/Neutral/Evil portion looks good to me, but who could be identified as Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic is really a matter of opinion.
HoMM Hungary Interview
Questions 13a-14a, of 17
This interview was conducted by Andrew Gasz of HoMM Hungary (Webpage & Facebook), and was originally published in late January 2021. It’s comprised of 17 questions in 21 parts (~50% HoMM and ~50% FST). I’ll be posting around 5 questions per Newsletter, until we reach the end, after which we will roll into another interview. Below are questions 13a to 14a, of 17.
13a. Can you talk something about the town screen designs in general?
In FST, ‘Cityscapes’ will be very, very similar to the Town Screens from HoMM3.There will be a build tree, structures will be added to a full screen landscape, clicking on various structures will open various windows, etc.
13b. Can we see the differences in a town, on the map, when we build something?
On the Adventure Map, each city type will have three variations: barren, un-walled, and walled.
13c. Will the town screens will be in 2D?
Cityscapes will be fully rendered in 3D, but player interaction will be strictly 2D.Previously, for a conceptual example of what we have planned, I have pointed to Ori and the Blind Forest, which is a fully rendered 3D world, with a 3D environment, and 3D characters, but with player interaction strictly 2D.
14a. Will Paul Romero and Rob King do the music for this game?
I have been in touch with Rob King about he and Paul Romero handling the music. Provided FST reaches critical mass, I see no reason why they wouldn’t contribute.